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every preponderating power on the Peninsula, They have employed their spiritual power to injure it. It was then demonstrated to me, that the spiritual influence exercised in my statés by a foreign Sovereign, was contrary to the independence of France, to the dignity and safety of my throne.” In his address to the Legislative body in June, 1811, he says: “ The union of Rome is the only means, whereby that
proper influence, which the Pope ought to possess over spiritual concerns, can be rendered compatible with the principles of the Empire, which cannot suffer any foreign Bishop to exercise an authority therein.” .
We have seen before from how unjust and corrupt a source the title of universal Bishop originated. But if the Roman Emperors had possessed ever so legitimate a right to establish one supreme head over the whole Roman church; they had no power to extend such authority beyond the limits of the Empire; and the Bishop of Rome, the constituted head of the imperial church, had still less right to assume it. Britain had long ceased to be a part of the Roman Empire, when Gregory, the very Pope, who so
forcibly reprobated the title of universal
But some Romish writers pretend that the Bishop of Rome has a right to obedience from this country, on account of Austin's having planted Christianity here in his mission from the Pope. That Christianity was not first introduced into Britain by Austin, the seven Bishops, whom he found here, and the Metropolitan whom they acknowledged, are a sufficient proof. And that Christianity was never extinct, but had existed here from its first introduction by St. Paul, every Century that preceded the arrival of Austin, has its own historical evidence. In the sixth Century we have the synod of Llanddewi Brefi ; in the fifth, the suppression of the Pelagian Heresy; in the fourth, the presence of British Bishops at the councils of Arles, Sardica, and Ariminium, and, probably, Nice; in the third and fourth, the Diocletian persecution; in the seconds Lucius's publick protection of Christianity :
in the first, the preaching of St. Paul, and, perhaps, of other Apostles, or. Apostolical men *.
Among the valuable evidences of the Brie tish Church in the fourth Century, we have two testimonies of Jerome to the independence of the British Church, and its sufficiency for salvation. Of the latter he says:
way is open to Heaven from Britain as well as from Jerusalem :" Et de Hierosolymis et de Britannia æqualiter patet aula cælestis. (Epist. 13. ad Paulinum Op. Vol. I. Of the independence of the Churches of Gaul, Britain, Africa, &c. as parts of one universal Church, he says: “ Nec altera Romanæ Urbis ecclesia, altera totius orbis existimanda est. Et Galliæ, et Britanniæ, et Africa, et Persis, et Oriens, et India, et omnes barbaræ nationes unum Christum adosant, unam observant regulam veritatis. Si authoritas quæritur, Orbis major est Urbe. Ubicunque fuerit Episcopus, sive Romæ, sive Eugubii , sive Constantinopoli
, sive Rhegii,
Philip and Aristobulus. The traditions concerning Peter, James, Simon Zelotes, and Joseph of Arimathea, are either destitute of evidence, or are full of difficulties and contradictions, which cannot be said of the western travels of St. Paul; nor, I think, of Aristobulus, por, perhaps, of Philip
sive Alexandriæ, sive Tanis; ejusdem meriti est, ejusdem et sacerdotii. (Epist. ad Euagrium Op. Vol. I, p. 334.)
The author of the antiquities of the AngloSaxon Church says: “ After a long and doubtful struggle, the religion, with the government of the natives, sunk beneath the persevering efforts of the Saxons *.” Christianity was indeed banished from the interior provinces of the Britons, by their pagan invaders, but was not extirpated from Britain. The suppression of the Pelagian heresy in the fifth century, had infused new vigour into every part of the British Church. Schools, Monasteries, Churches, were established; and were directed by men of great learning and piety ; and the fruits of their labours were in a flourishing state, when Austin, the Pope's missionary, found here an ancient and independent Churchwhich resisted all his
* Vol. I. p.7.
+ Carte's Hist. of England, Vol. I. p. 186. and Roberts's Collectanea Cambrica, Vol. I. Appendix VI. p. 308, 309.
I Hujus Archiepiscopatus memoriam libentius colo, quod ante adventum Augustini eximia polleret antiquitate, nullamque vel ab eo vel ejus successoribus ordinationem acceperit subjectionem'e iisdem præstiterit, usque ad sempus Henrici I. (SPELMANNI Concilia p. 27.)
proposals of submission to his authority. The abbot of Bangor's answer refused subjection to Austin and to the Pope. Popish writersindeed object to the genuineness of the MS. from which Sir H. Spelman published
the Abbot's answer, which has been learnedly e defended by Hammond *, Stillingfleet, and - Bingham; and admitted by Cartet: But if
their vindication and authority be not sufficient, we have the substance of the fact abundantly confirmed by other evidence of the sentiments of the British Church.
The independence of the British Church is evident, from the difference of her usages from those of the Church of Rome in the obsera rance of Easter, and the administration of Baptism, which the British Bishops' refused to accommodate to the injunction of Austin, and to the customs of the Roman Church.
Popish writers ask : “ Are we to conclude from the rejection of the authority of Austin, that the Britons also disavowed the supremacy of the Pontiff I?” Certainly : their
* Hammond's Works, Vol. II. p. 55. Stillingficet's Orig. Britan. p. 359-361. Bingham's Orig. Eccles.
+ Carte's Hist. Vol. I. p. 224.